Resources for Teachers

Red, White & Sometimes Blue: How Safety Shaped the Octagonal Stop Sign

To understand why stop signs in the U.S. are red (and sometimes blue), one needs to go back to a time when stop signs were a wild new idea.

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The Running Machine: Volcano-Inspired Forerunner of the Modern Bicycle

A design born of global disaster, the running machine was created in the wake of a war as well as a famine-fueling volcanic eruption.

10 Amazing Innovations Inspired by Nature

Innovation is a broad term that cuts across all the sectors from business, medicine, transport, education, to agriculture. Creative thoughts put into practice have helped provide solutions that meet the requirements of our day-to-day lives. Innovators go far and beyond with their thinking capacities and observations to provide the most crucial solutions. Innovation might sound like a technical and complicated process. However, some innovations have been born out of the most unbelievable and straightforward ways like nature.

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Using Nature’s Genius in Architecture

Michael Pawlyn describes three habits of nature that could transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun.

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Design at the Intersection of Technology and Biology

Designer and architect Neri Oxman is leading the search for ways in which digital fabrication technologies can interact with the biological world. Working at the intersection of computational design, additive manufacturing, materials engineering and synthetic biology, her lab is pioneering a new age of symbiosis between microorganisms, our bodies, our products and even our buildings.

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5 Biomimicry-Inspired Energy Technologies

Biomimicry has shaped technological development since time immemorial, and have inspired everything from the most basic tools to advanced aerodynamics, and increasingly, energy.

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Science Copies Nature’s Secrets

Mother Nature is the extraordinary creator of this world. Since the beginning of the Earth, Mother Nature has done a brilliant job in discovering more efficient and more convenient solutions. Today we are surrounded by the fruits of her great attempts. Do we, as humans really have the ability to challenge her?

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Building Cities Like Forests: When Biomimicry Meets Urban Design

During the last century and a half, humans have created cities that ignore natural cycles such as the weather and surrounding conditions, and have developed urban areas that have little to do with life in the natural world. The control of resources and mastery of energy sources has allowed us to become carelessly independent from our natural environment—which has led to a downward unsustainable path, currently incapable of supporting the massive population growth predicted for the world’s biggest cities. Read more

The Innovators Using Nature’s Design Principles to Create Green Tech

Janine Benyus is a biologist, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. In this video, Benyus explains the practice of biomimicry and what can be learned from the genius of nature.

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Architecture, Engineering and Construction Inspired by Nature

Mother Nature has been abuzz with activity since the beginning of time, developing, improving and perfecting her already perfectly efficient systems through a continuous process of trial and error. We are surrounded by her intricate biological systems, offering us a wealth of knowledge.

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Technologies Inspired by Animals

Animals are really important to the tech industry. And we’re not just talking about “code monkeys”. Here are 4 awesomely animal-inspired technologies.

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 ‘Particle’ Robots: Bio-inspired Bots That Move with No Brain

Researchers have built a robot made up of individual ‘particles’ that moves with no centralized control. The bots rely on the same kind of statistical mechanics that allows groups of cells to move, creating some intriguing possibilities.

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Termites: The Inner Sanctum – The Secrets of Nature

They cannot tolerate sunlight; some of them are even blind. However they are one of the world’s most ingenious builders: Termites. They build high-risers without any technical devices that are, compared to the Empire State Building in New York, 25 times higher. They are the only animals that have managed to build an air-conditioning system without electricity. Their nests are architectural masterpieces that rise up to eight meters from the ground and dispose brood chambers for larvae, corridors for transportation, fungal gardens for nutrition and even emergency exits for hostile attacks.

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